for Direct Book Sales

Most authors are aware the books sales, both print and digital, are dominated by Amazon. Many also realize that putting all their eggs in one Amazon-sized basket isn’t a good idea. It leaves you at its less-than-tender mercy. You need alternative ways to promote and sell your books. If you can make more per-sale, that’s all the better.

Ingram, the largest book wholesaler on the planet, is well aware of that and recently acquired an alternative way of selling books online that’ll put publisher and authors in control. You’ll run a direct-to-consumer website and they take care of the messy stuff, processing the payment and doing the shipping. For that they take 12.9% of the price plus shipping fees etc. It beats the socks off running to the post office every few days.

I’ve only just begun to look into it myself, so I can’t say much. This seems to be true.

For printed books, your titles need to be available from Ingram. This is, after all, their company. You can achieve that by publishing print-on-demand with Lightning Source, if you’re a regular publisher, or Ingram Spark, if you’re an author. If you’re a conventional author, your publisher probably distributes through Ingram.

If I read their material right, you’re not restricted to your own titles. On that web page you can sell anything that Ingram wholesales. So if you’re the fan of a particularly genre, you can sell your books in that genre and also the books of your friends or titles you like. You’ll make more on the sales of your own books, but you’ll still earn on those others.

If I read them correctly, for digital books you supply an epub version for those with most ebook readers and they use that to generate a mobi one for Kindles for that market. You can choose to have DRM or not.

For the most part, they’re assuming you’ll have a website and that their webpages will be embedded into it. However, it does appear that they will host for your too.

Perhaps their biggest advantage is that from the start they’re aiming at marketing through social media in a format suitable for smartphones. Since that’s a growing share of ebook sales, that’s likely to be good, particularly if your market is young readers.

Here’s a description of it from 2015, including how it counters some of the deficiencies of selling through Amazon. … publishing

Here’s recent news of Ingram’s purchase: … rio-318383

Here’s’s own description of how it works:

And here’s an illustration of an author’s page:

Like I said, I know little about it, but the idea is certainly a good one and it’s coming from Ingram, whom I trust to have the broad interests of authors and publishers at heart.

I’m going to be looking into it. You might want to do the same and report back here. I’d be particularly interesting in how it merges with social media. Alas, I know nothing about social media.

–Mike Perry, Inkling Books

Thanks for alerting us to this potentially useful development, and to every other opportunity you so generously and frequently share with this community, Mike. Please do keep us posted. My current book already has a publisher, but I want might to explore self-publishing for the next.